Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFirst I'd Like To Thank, Bobby Manc - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough First I'd Like To Thank, Bobby Manc - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

First I’d Like To Thank, Bobby Manc

Some people have likened the Country of Italy to remind them of a lady’s leg in high heels. If this is the case then on the 27th November 1964 our savior was born right, slap bang on her sexy calf muscle. Roberto Mancini was born in Lesi, a small town on the east coast of Italy to Aldo and Marianna.

Religion and football were big in Young Mancinis life and he has played at the highest levels of football throughout his career. Starting at Bologna before moving to Sampdoria where he spent most of his playing career. He left them for Lazio in 1997 before joining English side Leicester in 2001. He left a month later after being offered a managerial role.

From 2001 until 2008 he managed three teams in Italy, Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter Milan winning the League three times, the Cup three times and the Supercoppa Italiana twice. Roberto Mancini was out of football for a while before joining up with City on the 19th December 2009. Mancini started off by winning seven of his first eight games, with the lone defeat coming away to Everton.

In his first full season at City, Mancini showed the City fans what they can expect from him. Known more as a defensive minded manager rather than a Kevin Keegan type ‘we-can-concede-three-so-long-as-we-score-four!’. This saw City concede only 33 goals in the League last season, which was joint lowest along with Chelsea and keep eighteen clean sheets, that is almost half the games! Through this tightening of the defense City saw them finish third and qualify directly for the Champions League and lift their first trophy for three decades!

This season, in the League at least, has seen a more relaxed, attacking City. So far they have not last a game and have beaten teams handsomely, scoring four against Swansea, Villa and Blackburn and five against Tottenham. This along with only six goals conceded sees City top of the League after eight games.

But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Mancini in his twenty two months at the club. Roberto came in for critisism last season from sections of the City fan base after bad results. Bowing out of the Carling Cup at the first round was not impressive as many saw this as the best route for silverware. Losses against Wolves and Sunderland along with draws in home games against Birmingham and Fulham combined with replays needed for the first two rounds of FA Cup play against lower league opposition was more than some could take.

Mancini also had some issues with players to deal with on top of that also. With Adebayor and Bellamy in particular speaking out against the Managers tactics and training methods. The latest controversy obvioulsy invloved hero turned zero Carlos Tevez. To be fair Mancini has stood firm on this and all cases of player revolt and the board back their man which is good to see as all devisive forces are now out of City and Tevez has been removed from first team activities until, presumably, he can be moved out of the club.

It is not just players that have had their feathers ruffled by the Italian though. David Moyes and ex City Manager Mark Hughes have all had an encounter. Mancini clattered with Moyes while retrieving a ball so his team could quickly restart the game. As a result both managers were dismissed from the technical area. The Hughes incident was slightly more farciacal which, with Hughes being an ex United player and never really accepted by hardcore City fans, always brings a smile.

Lastly, the media. Pundits love to hate City right now, always waiting for Mancini to fail and moaning about the vast sums of money spent by City and Mancini. Nothing City ever win will be a ‘surprise’ to them and every slight bump in the road will be misquoted and misrepresented until the cows come home.

I am sure as City and Mancini continue to ruffle the Premiership elites feathers and bite their thumb at the decades long accepted order there will be more incidents like these.  

PA Cityboy

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